The small intestine of 35 heifers and cows with an ileus of the duodenum, jejunum or ileum was examined ultrasonographically. After a clinical examination, the animals were examined from the right flank and thorax with a 3.5 MHz linear transducer, and the findings were verified by a right flank laparotomy or post mortem. Dilated loops of small intestine with a diameter of more than 3.5 cm were visible in at least one location in all the animals; they were seen predominantly in cross-section or longitudinally. The number of loops of dilated intestine visible from the flank or intercostal spaces was markedly influenced by the site of the ileus. In animals with an ileus of the duodenum, only one intestinal loop was usually visible from the flank or from the 12th, 11th or 10th intercostal spaces. In contrast, more than five dilated loops of intestine were usually visible in animals with an ileus of the jejunum or ileum. The largest diameter of intestine measured from the 12th intercostal space was between 6.5 and 9.9 cm in animals with an ileus of the duodenum, between 3.5 and 9.8 cm in animals with an ileus of the jejunum, and between 4.4 and 5.5 cm in animals with an ileus of the ileum. In the majority of the cows, the contents of the intestines were predominantly echogenic, but in the others they were anechoic. The cause of the ileus could be identified by ultrasonography in only a few cases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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